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We all want more sales and the opportunity to provide our services to companies that have the budget to buy. But, chances are you won’t even get close to winning bigger ticket business unless you master the art of asking good questions.

I’m talking particularly about open questions (i.e. those that start with who, what, where, when, why, how and which) but also good filter or closed questions that allow you to qualify (do you usually use….?) and questions that lead the prospect to where you want to go…. ‘So, that would be really useful for you, wouldn’t it?’

I love questions. I’m a talker rather than a listener and therefore I have to work hard to not let my enthusiasm run away with me. That’s where questions based on client needs and issues come in.

Perfecting the art of good questions is essential to sales success whether that’s face to face or through telemarketing.  The reasons are straightforward but important:

    1. People buy people and no-one likes talking to self-obsessed sales people who talk at you rather than listen.
    2. Good questions allow you to gather useful information to use within the call and later.
    3. Rapport building is an essential part of sales. Targeted open questions facilitate better conversations and rapport.
    4. Successful sales people are often seen as trusted advisors. That means being able to diagnose rather than sell. Questions allow you to get to the heart of the problem.
    5. Insight is essential for market scoping and for perfecting an effective sales strategy. It’s impossible to learn about your market if you don’t ask sensible questions.
    6. Objections are a fact of sales life. Hitting them head on is not a great approach and the best way to deflect objections and defuse conflict in the sales process is to ask good open questions.
    7. If you want to enhance credibility, you won’t do that by preaching. You’re more likely to achieve that goal by posing sensible questions around a topic that’s close to the heart of your prospect.
    8. Not every prospect is in the market now. That doesn’t mean you should drop them like a stone. Simply, you should identify timelines for future interest. If you build rapport throughout the interaction, you’re more likely to get an answer to the ‘when do you review?’ question.
    9. If you have a tendency to pitch and talk too much, work on questioning techniques. It’ll help shut you up and you shift the ratio of listening to talking more into balance.
    10. Prospects often have incumbent suppliers, contracted partners and no current need for new suppliers. A sales person that fails to recognise that won’t get far. The only way to open a door and identify possible gaps is to use effective questions.

Master the art of questioning and you will build better pipelines, book more sales appointments and generate more sales.

If you’d like to know how GSA Business Development can help generate growth for your business through telemarketing or social media lead generation or you’d like to book one of our new business development and marketing strategy workshops, contact us now on 0845 658 8192 or use the form on this site.


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